Pricing the $20 Million Hillary Donation
This week’s $20 million dollar pledge from Dustin Moskovitz to Hillary Clinton’s Campaign makes it much harder to argue that the tech industry isn’t politically engaged. Founders, entrepreneurs and investors are beginning to step up — and perhaps this is a good thing.
In his post on Medium this week, Moskovitz outlined why he is throwing his support (and his dollars) behind Hillary: “We cannot ignore the remarkable alignment between these two visions for society and the choices in this year’s election. The Republican Party, and Donald Trump in particular, is running on a zero-sum vision, stressing a false contest between their constituency and the rest of the world. We believe their positions, especially on immigration, which purport to improve the lives of Americans, would in practice hurt citizens and noncitizens alike. In contrast, the Democratic Party, and Hillary Clinton in particular, is running on a vision of optimism, pragmatism, inclusiveness and mutual benefit.”
And yet, this $20 million donation reaffirms our worst apprehensions about the current political process. One hopes that this money helps Hillary during her stretch run for the White House, because a Donald Trump presidency spells complete disaster for the United States and the rest of the world. But if we don’t want right-wing billionaires unfairly thwarting the election process, then having left-learning billionaires do the same really isn’t a significantly better scenario.
One of the cruel ironies of life is that we inevitably become what we despise. Defeating big donations with more big donations won’t sustain or improve our Democracy long-term, particularly in today’s connected world in which millions of micro-payments can quickly lead to huge totals.